PDA

View Full Version : One-star to take case for promotion to Supreme Court



Mjölnir
03-07-2015, 01:43 AM
Air Force Times: http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2015/03/06/general-to-ask-supreme-court-to-decide-promotion/24507301/


A retired one-star Air Force general who believes he was illegally denied his second star as a result of the 1996 attack on Khobar Towers plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to restore his promotion.

"Following the Khobar Towers attack, I was unjustly removed from the major general promotion list," retired Brig. Gen. Terryl Schwalier said in a statement Friday to Air Force Times. "By comparison, the 911 attack on the Pentagon and its subsequent investigation underscored the unfairness of the removal."

Schwalier was commander of the 4404th Wing at the King Abdulaziz Airbase in Saudi Arabia when terrorists attacked the Khobar Towers housing complex, killing 19 airmen and injuring hundreds more.

While two Air Force investigations found that Schwalier had taken sufficient measures to protect the base, a separate Defense Department investigation concluded that Schwalier could have saved lives if he had moved the base's blast walls or made the housing complex's windows more resistant to explosions.

Schwalier's promotion to major general had already been approved by the Senate, but President Bill Clinton took his name off the promotion list at the recommendation of then- Defense Secretary William Cohen. Schwalier retired as a one-star general in 1997.

Starting in 2003, Schwalier has asked the Air Force Board of Corrections of Military Records to restore his promotion. In 2007, he briefly succeeded when the Air Force declared he had become a two-star general in January 1997.

But the Air Force rescinded the promotion in 2008 after the Defense Department's General Counsel's office argued there was no legal basis to give Schwalier his second star.

Most recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in January that Clinton had the right to remove Schwalier's name from the promotion list. Now Schwalier plans to file an appeal with the Supreme Court on March 24, said his attorney David Sheldon.

Schwalier feels the Defense Department General Counsel's office "unlawfully intervened" to stop the Air Force secretary from "exercising his legal authority to correct my military records," he said in the statement.

"The DoD general counsel's actions were contrary to the law and raise significant Constitutional issues," he said in the statement. "Still determined to see justice done, we are requesting the Supreme Court to review my case."

Drackore
03-07-2015, 08:53 AM
What an asshole. So the bottom line is that terrorists kill 19 under his watch while in their living quarters and he feels that he doesn't get enough compensation? Fuck him.

Airborne
03-07-2015, 01:55 PM
So no one who has troops get killed under their watch gets a promotion? When a pilot punches does he or she not still get promoted, or their commander, or the maintenance commander. Im stretching because I dont know the full details and how all that stuff works, but if he feels he was unjustly not promoted Im glad he has the right to fight it.

waveshaper2
03-07-2015, 02:49 PM
Personal Accountability for Force Protection at Khobar Towers (1997);

excerpt; This final issue -- personal accountability -- is the subject of this report. After carefully reviewing the previous reports on the Khobar Towers attack, as well as some of the underlying evidence, I have reached the following conclusions with respect to this question of accountability.

In light of the available strategic intelligence and a precursor attack in Riyadh in November 1995, the risk that there could be further terrorist attacks on U.S. forces in Saudia Arabia was clear. Brigadier General Terryl Schwalier, Commander of the 4404th Wing (Provisional), recognized that a car or truck bomb parked at the perimeter of the Khobar Towers compound, where many of his forces were housed, represented one of the most serious threats facing his command. He did not, however, take adequate account of the implications of this threat or develop an effective plan for how his command should respond to it.

Although the chain of command shares responsibility for the safety of our troops, force protection is, as Brig Gen Schwalier himself has acknowledged, first and foremost the responsibility of the commander on the scene. His chain of command kept him apprised of the level of the threat in his area of responsibility, and they consulted with him about force protection issues. He never referred any force protection problems -- including those discussed above -- to his seniors. If he believed that he needed further assistance to implement additional force protection measures, he could have requested it. He did not do so. That failure should not be imputed to all above him in the chain of command. I have therefore concluded that no adverse action should be taken against those senior to Brig Gen Schwalier in the chain of command.

http://www.dod.mil/pubs/khobar/

The Downing Report (1996/long);
http://fas.org/irp/threat/downing/report.pdf

Rainmaker
03-07-2015, 03:12 PM
IMO Khobar Towers was a turning point for the AF. In the aftermath Big Blue went Force Protection Crazy and for about 10 years became the most Risk Averse Military Branch on the planet... A Complete pussification ensued where FP became the first consideration even if it trumped mission effectiveness... Now I can see why.... No one else wanted to risk getting "Schwaliered"..

waveshaper2
03-07-2015, 03:57 PM
Another historical Kobar Towers note; Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, the Air Force chief of staff, resigned.

Excerpt; Fogleman's resignation came as the Pentagon prepared to release a report on the June 1996 terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia and on the performance of Air Force Brig. Gen. Terryl J. "Terry" Schwalier, the officer responsible for the security of the 2,000 service members housed at the Khobar Towers complex in Dhahran. A scathing Pentagon report last fall faulted Schwalier and other senior officers, saying they did not make security a high priority and failed to heed intelligence reports that Khobar Towers was a likely terrorist target.

SENDBILLMONEY
03-23-2015, 10:34 AM
1. President Clinton nominated Brig Gen Schwalier for appointment/promotion to the grade of major general.
2. That nomination received advice and consent from the Senate.
3. Once steps 1 and 2 were completed, President Clinton then had the green light to appoint/promote Brig Gen Schwalier. President Clinton decided not to do so.

The reason for that decision doesn't matter. The case is dead on arrival. The result would be the same if Brig Gen Schwalier was removed by the President from the promotion list for a command failure resulting in the deaths and injuries at Khobar Towers, or if he was removed by the President because the President just didn't like the cut of his jib.

The AFBCMR's attempt to review and "correct" this Presidential decision was beyond the scope of its authority. When AFBCMR got it wrong, DoD General Counsel stepped in and clarified the scope of AFBCMR's authority.

You can dislike the decision. You can dislike the guy who made the decision. The decision was his to make, however, and it is made.

If AFBCMR wanted to say that there was an injustice that was beyond its power to correct and forward the case to President Obama for another nomination with adjusted date of rank, another Senate confirmation, and a final appointment, fine. Until then, nope.

TJMAC77SP
03-23-2015, 03:29 PM
The Downing Report is the epitome of Monday Morning Quarterbacking.

Within the first week of being tasked with the commission, General Dowling visited Israel and his staff first asked the DAO to gather data on how Egged (the national bus company) how they armored their buses. They seemed very disappointed to learn that the armoring consisted simply of steel plating welded to various parts of the bus. I question the timing of that visit and the relevance of the queries, given the nature of the incident being investigated. Many in the embassy felt the same way.

You will note that the report cites 'enhanced barriers" in Israel and the UK. Note further that there is no further information on these barriers. There were no 'enhanced barriors' in use in Israel that I know of. They used standoff distances and concrete jersey barriers (along with human resources) to protect sensitive locations.

The Dowling Report contains a lot of valuable information and recommendations but it falls short in proving the facts that support it's condemnation of BG Schwalier.

I agree with SBM that this issue seems irrelevant to the AFBCMR and ultimately to the SCOTUS unless the President made his decision based on erroneous facts then a wrong was done and should be fixed.

Bos Mutus
04-03-2015, 05:44 PM
Another historical Kobar Towers note; Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, the Air Force chief of staff, resigned.

Excerpt; Fogleman's resignation came as the Pentagon prepared to release a report on the June 1996 terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia and on the performance of Air Force Brig. Gen. Terryl J. "Terry" Schwalier, the officer responsible for the security of the 2,000 service members housed at the Khobar Towers complex in Dhahran. A scathing Pentagon report last fall faulted Schwalier and other senior officers, saying they did not make security a high priority and failed to heed intelligence reports that Khobar Towers was a likely terrorist target.

By all accounts, Gen Fogelman for the most part seemed like a stand-up guy.

When he became CSAF, he came in with a chant of "Accountability, accountability, accountability"...that was his mantra. The word was rarely heard around the AF prior to his term...he made it fashionable, he made it the "thing good leaders do" in the AF.

Some might recall a couple of maintainer TSgts who were hung out to dry for incorrectly installing a flight control arm on a F-16 that resulted in a crash and death of an AF pilot. He pulled back to go up, the aircraft went down.

The were caught in the Accountability wave created by the CSAF and were promptly charged in court martial for dereliction of duty or not taking the proper care in their reponsibilities, or something...one of them choosing instead to take his own life.

When this same wave of accountability washed upon one of Gen Fogelman's buddies, BGen Schwalier...the good General was none too pleased (he meant accountability was for enlisted, maybe jr. officers, not generals) and resigned in protest.

That's how I remember it.